Help I feel like I'm in the RIBnet Court for not having fitted my aux engine
Let me put my side of the story to the bench:
Your learned Clerk we did indeed try to fit an aux engine - however having rung a few local chandlers the responses we got were along the lines of: it's not possible on your transom due to the shape of the a frame, it won't push your boat along (we already have a 4hp or thereabouts and of course the 25hp from the SIB), it will cause massive vibration and unbalance the boat.
We have therefore not progressed a solution - having it inside the RIB, apart from the risk of it coming loose, didn't seem sensible as with three adults and two large fuel cans rooms is limited.
However the fundamental mistake we made was to try and come into Chi Harbour in bad weather, in poor sea conditions with a buggered engine, we were very lucky it didn't fail on the way in.
What are my thoughts in hindsight...
1. I still don't think an aux engine is the answer for us - regardless of wether you can fit them to our RIB - why .... because it would'nt have helped at all - how do I know that, when we conked out the third time (!!) we managed to get the engine running at throttle forward to a gentle 6hp (the idea to conserve fuel and hand pumping) - we went no where - in fact according to the GPS slightly backwards - I personally think an aux engine (again on reflection) offers a comfort zone that when needed will fail.
2. Could we have started an aux on the way into the harbour if it had been tied to the inside of the boat or raised on a bracket - I doubt it - we couldn't stand up let alone move around - so it would have been utterly useless.
3. We could have had an aux running and on standby ready to take over - but then that raises another issue. Our current engine has a separate oil tank - so mixes for you - our aux needs a pre mixed fuel, so we would have needed a separate fuel tank so yet another item to carry, how much extra pre mixed fuel should we take when out, and of course the need to change in the event of an emergency.
In an ideal world we should have:
1. Not left via Chichester Harbour - I knew it could be grotty but lack of preparation meant I had no idea how grotty
2. Radioed the coastguard at the first sign of trouble
3. Made for the nearest safe haven and asked Darren's Dad to collect us, returned to the trailer and then collected the RIB. - So angry at myself for this oversight!!
4. Been members of Sea Start - allowing us to moor up and wait for the breakdown service whilst not placing other people or ourselves a risk.
Malthouse - just seen your comment - no we could not have fixed the fuel tanks without unscrewing the top plates - I doubt we could have done this on Saturday - however Darren did have a very large tool kit in the boat - weighs the same as a small person
- so it is a possibility - he was so unwell though!!!!!
If we had found the issues with the tanks then yes that would have solved the worry over the engine but we should never have attempted coming back through the Harbour entrance when a lift from Portsmouth would have solved the problem but just taken slightly longer.
A few days after the event and I can't believe how much I've learnt through the experience, I'm obviously slightly nervous about the next time out - will be posting on here for a few friendly faces to join us - but I also feel so much more prepared and confident of better choices if it ever happened again - and that can only have been gained through the experience of Saturday
Once again thank you so much to everyone on here for sharing their advice and asking further questions - it is genuinely very much appreciated